Second things first
A couple of ‘second’ things have occurred lately for Australian Church Women (ACW) as we continue the journey through the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic. For the second year, our recent World Community Day Service has been hosted as a virtual event on our ACW website, and now our ACW blog has celebrated its second birthday.
In keeping with second things, this week’s blogpost is about an event that was recorded in the second official year of Australian Church Women, in the second month of 1967, in the minutes of the second annual ACW National Committee Meeting. Mrs Lillian Wells, the wife of Rev. HT Wells, belonged to the Congregational Church of Australia and when Mrs Wells visited the USA, she was able to attend a World Community Day event at a Congregational Church in Hartford, Connecticut. Here is the report on her experience:
Mrs. H. T. Wells, who had been present at this day in 1966, was asked to speak concerning this. Mrs. Wells spoke briefly concerning Church Women United (U.S.A.), including (1) that they organise annually Women's World Day of Prayer, Fellowship Day and World Community Day (2) that they have a full-time observer at all meetings of the United Nations. Preparations for each special day commence 6 months before the date of the event. The following is taken from Mrs. Wells' report concerning World Community Day at Hartford; literature was available for inspection.
“The venue was South Congregational Church, Hartford, the capital of Connecticut; the observance of this day (the 23rd occasion on which it was celebrated) took from I0am until 3pm. The Worship Service on the theme, 'Laity: Rights, Resources, Responsibilities', was written by Sister Mary Luke, the only American woman appointed as an auditor at the Second Vatican Council, and this form of worship was printed and distributed all over the nation by Church Women United.
“Following the service was a Forum, at which several women spoke briefly on the topic of the day, from the standpoint of American Church Women's part in helping others (both at home and overseas) to achieve the freedoms listed in the U.N. Charter. After this, we broke into discussion groups of about 25 or so, and each one considered the U.S. Foreign Aid Programme and the part of Christian women in this, in Africa, S.E. Asia (Phillipines [sic] especially) and Brazil. In each group there was a 'resource person' and a discussion leader, and according to conversations at lunch time, the work done in these varied considerably. Name tags were in the form of the countries to be included in discussion, and that was the discussion group to which we went.
“At lunch time I was welcomed and asked to take greetings back to ACW from those present at the Hartford meeting. In my acknowledgment of the welcome, I conveyed greetings from ACW and spoke of our indebtedness to Church Women United for introducing Fellowship Day and World Community Day to us."